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More Minnesotans push state population to 5.4 million

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On a day when some Minnesotans are surely daydreaming about an exit strategy from the state comes the news from the Associated Press that more people are making Minnesota their home.

A new estimate released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau shows the state's population continues to inch up. The bureau estimates that, as of July 1, there are 5,420,380 people living in Minnesota. That number represents a population hike of nearly 41,000 over last year's projection. That makes Minnesota the 21st most populous state. Wisconsin comes in at No. 20 with more than 5.7 million people.

The Fargo Forum reported the Census Bureau showed a significant jump in North Dakota’s estimated population. The updated figures released Monday show a record high of 723,393 state residents. That's an increase of more than 22,000 from 2012.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple welcomed the news, which comes after years of population decline. North Dakota's recent population gains have been driven by oil and gas mining activity

The count released Monday isn't as precise as the once-a-decade population surveys. The last one of those, done in 2010, put Minnesota's population at 5,303,925.

Last June, the Pioneer Press crunched Minnesota's latest census numbers and concluded that the state's modest population growth over the previous two years was fueled by immigration and births, particularly among minorities. Between 2010 and 2012, the newspaper said that Minnesota's minority population increased faster than the population as a whole, growing by about 6 percent and outpacing the national growth rate of 4 percent.

The minority population is growing across the state, with 34 of the state's 87 counties showing a minority populations of 10 percent or more; that's up from 27 counties two years ago. WCCO noted that Asians are the state's fastest-growing ethnic group, with the Hmong making up the largest segment followed by immigrants from India.

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